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  • Eye on a Spitfire

    Hi all,

    First off, like to say great community here and fantastic advice. Been reading through posts trying to work out which board would suit me best for myself and my local spots.
    My stats read like: just a shade under 5'8, 73kgs (160lbs) and 47 years old (and feeling it at times). My breaks are Surfcoast in Victoria anywhere from 13th beach through Torquay/Jan Juc to Bells/Winki. The waves here are varied from small mushy on ordinary days to over 6ft when cranking (preferably too big for my level)
    I started surfing a long time ago when I was 16 on the wrong type of board, no lessons or guidance and not that much exposure to decent regular waves as I live in Melbourne. Lost contact for a long time and came back into around 2001 but hen went to live in Japan for a few years, moved back home and now only starting to get back into it (still wondering why I ever stopped as I absolutely love it). Anyway boring personal history over, you could say my level is beginner/intermediate. Still lots of wipeouts but once up and running rail to rail trims, bottom/top turns and that's about it. My current board is an old 6'3 thruster shortboard with swallow tail. It's quite narrow and I find balance when paddling can sometimes be an issue ( age most likely has something to do with that). Also my level of paddling fitness/ upper body strength is not great. I cycle quite a bit so general fitness pretty good (just dropped 3kgs).
    I demo'd a 6'2 SF over the last 3 weekends. First was a waste as the waves were messy but powerful and couldn't get into it. Wasn't going to judge the board on that. Last Sunday was much better, found the board pretty easy to paddle, better balance and floatation than my board and could get into waves a lot easier as well. The board was really fast, took off without me on a couple of occasions but the rides I had on the wastes that were decent impressed me. In fact some of the best fun i've had on a board.
    I'd like to pull the trigger on ordering one but not sure of size. The 6'2 I felt was ok but I could possibly go down but not sure how far. I know many have said to go lower than you think but I'm not experienced in buying boards.
    With that long blurb in mind can anyone suggest an appropriate size SF for someone of my level, height/weight and local wave type?

    Cheers
    T


  • #2
    congrats on getting your stoke back!!!

    I think a 602 is too big for you. I would be looking at around a 508 or 510. Some will say a 506, some will say get a 600 or even 602. If you're getting in the water a bit, go smaller.

    Put it this way. A weekend warrior or earl intermediate should be on a guild factor between .38 and .42. Going off .42 gives you a ideal volume of 30.66L. That would translate into a 508 spitfire (31L). Considering you enjoyed the 602, you may want to go a little higher in volume.. hence why I recommended the 510.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I can really help you on this one as I learned how to surf and progress on a spitfire. I surf almost everyday. I'm 5'6 and 140lb. I started off with a 5'8 (31 liters) and I was 155lb at the time, it felt good for paddling and cruising but not so much for making turns. As I progressed (after 3 month) I realized the volume of the board had a lot to do with it. I sold it and bought a 5'6 (28 liters), I instantly noticed the difference. It was day and night. Faster, waaay better turns, the paddle felt just as good as the 5'8, and better for duck diving. It was a magic stick!

      So my advice for you is to go with the 5'8 to future proof it. Or go with the 5'10 if you're okay with spending more money in a near future to get the the 5'8. Trust me you will feel the extra volume pretty soon.

      I don't have a spitty anymore, however, I used it for a long time until not so long ago and bought me a unibrow 5'6 (25 liters) which is my ideal volume based on the volume calculator. Just when I thought my magic stick couldn't get any better. Try the volume calculator if you haven't but most likely it will show you a 5'8 spitfire on the list.
      Last edited by OceanMindedBoy; 03-12-2014, 12:36 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        OceanMindedBoy - how was the transition from the Spit (28L) to the UNI (25L)? Performance? Paddling? Ease of use? Overall impressions? Think you could have gone with a UNI to begin with at similar Volume as you original spitfire? THX

        Comment


        • #5
          The transition felt easy. I scored good the first day I rode the unibrow . Obviously there's a different feeling because of the reduction in liters and different foil. It feels a little more lose but other than that the paddling remained just as good, turns are literally a breeze, what I like the most about this board is that I can lock my rails in the face of the wave when it gets steep, it feels so good. The speed is great but I have to say it depends a lot on your fins, it's way more sensitive to fins than the spitfire. I don't think I could have started on the unibrow. It requires better balance, and like I said above, the board feels lose. I don't think more volume helps with that. It's more of an intermediate user board.

          Comment


          • #6
            @justo and @OceanMindedBoy thanks for the input, appreciate it! Not sure between the 5'10 and the 5'8. I like the idea of a progressive type board that I can grow into and future proofing myself but don't want to go too small whereby it may prove frustrating. It's amazing the that there can be such a difference between the feel of the two sizes. Considering my age and last of upper body strength (for now at least) I may opt for the 5'10 and I also will be coming down from my 6'3 thruster which will be a drop. I'll just make a decision and go with it and sell if it proves to be the wrong one. Next question will be FCS or Futures? From what I've read they both have their pros and cons. There appear to be more options with FCS as that tech has been around longer. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Is the technology between the two that vastly different?

            Thanks again!
            T

            Comment


            • #7
              Futures are a superior system. Not as tricked up as the new fcs 2, but definitely stronger. The futures stretch quads are amazing in the spitfire.

              Comment


              • OceanMindedBoy
                OceanMindedBoy commented
                Editing a comment
                That's until you try the V2 F4 quad or thruster set :D

            • #8
              Futures all the way. I ride futures not only because the company is in my city but also because I've seen way too many FCS snapping off boards. I've never believed in the two tab base. FCS2 looks stronger though. And as far as I know besides the base the rest is the same thing.

              Comment


              • #9
                @OceanMindedBoy and @justo. Hey guys thanks for the input. I'll take a look at what Futures have to offer. Have been reading and watching quite a bit of info about the two mechanisms and I'm leaning toward futures. Took a look at an FCS 2 review and not totally convinced with it to be honest. On one vid, removing the fins from the box looked awkward and took quite a bit of force. I can just see the box being ripped out as it fatigues over time. Would rather the screw mechanism.

                Cheers again

                Comment


                • #10
                  I have used FCS since they were introduced and always managed to dent (or worse) boards removing fins. Any forward or back movement to loosen fin was a no no! Remember a little ding caused this way will put you out of the water and even longer if the board needs to drain. Switched to futures when I bought my first firewire with Futures (as it was Futures on Unibrow or wait) about a year ago and love them - ONE screw per fin, fit without gapping and no dings changing fins!!!!! Now what to do with a lifetime of FCS fins???????
                  All boxes can fatigue as you have different materials, heat and stresses let alone hitting a rock. I also don't think over-tightening screws is as much a problem in Future system.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I have used FCS since they were introduced and always managed to dent (or worse) boards removing fins. Any forward or back movement to loosen fin was a no no! Remember a little ding caused this way will put you out of the water and even longer if the board needs to drain. Switched to futures when I bought my first firewire with Futures (as it was Futures on Unibrow or wait) about a year ago and love them - ONE screw per fin, fit without gapping and no dings changing fins!!!!! Now what to do with a lifetime of FCS fins???????
                    All boxes can fatigue as you have different materials, heat and stresses let alone hitting a rock. I also don't think over-tightening screws is as much a problem in Future system.
                    I ride 6'4" spitfire and 6'8" unibrow at 5'9" and 85kgs and pushing 55 years.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I had a futures preference and always felt if i had two boards using the same fins I would buy a second set of fins rather than swap in and out but due to a couple of deals on boards I've ended up with FCS, my new board has FCS-2 plugs I started using my old fins with a screw kit then was given a set of FCS-2 with the five fins option and now regularly swap between quad and thruster in seconds no problems with dings and if you can do something wrong ill find a way,the way the plugs are set up you pull the fin out like you do with futures and the plug protects the board. You do have to hold your hands in the correct places though. I have often felt futures boxes were a problem getting fins out that had been in a board for a long time and at times expected the box to come out with the fin (as the salt tends to crust around them) but it never did .I don't know what my FCS plugs will be like in years to come wether they will keep hold of the fin, release it or drop it out in the water but at the moment their pretty good.

                      Comment

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